Four police officers won’t have to turn in their badges as a result of a last-minute deal struck Friday between the township and the Superior Officers Association.
However, the township’s savings from a new four-year contract for the 21 members of the association does not help the nine Parks and Recreation Department employees who were laid off Friday, said Anthony Mercantante, township administrator.
Township officials gave the local Policemen’s Benevolent Association until Monday to vote on a separate contract, which could save the jobs of six police officers, Mercantante said.
“This agreement saves jobs,” said Mayor Anthony Fiore, referring to the superior officers’ pact. “This should serve as a model for the Legislature or for other towns that can’t get things done.”
As part of the deal, Superior Officers Association members will get a 1.5 percent raise in the fourth quarter of 2011 and 2 percent raises in each of the contract’s subsequent years, Mercantante said.
Middletown will realize savings by association members either paying a larger percentage of the costs of an existing health plan or choosing to enroll in a new, more restrictive plan that will be cheaper for the township, Mercantante said. Association members who opt for the township’s top health plan will have to pay 25 percent of its cost, as opposed to 1.5 percent of their salaries, Mercantante said. Members can also choose a plan with more restrictions and continue to pay 1.5 percent of their salaries, he said.
The township’s layoff plan had included the demotions of one lieutenant and three sergeants to the patrol division, which would have led to the layoffs of four other officers, said Fred Deickmann, Superior Officers Association president. The agreement means the superior officers will not be demoted, he said.
“This is a fair deal for these trying economic times,” Deickmann said. “We’re glad the collective bargaining system worked.”
Of the 16 non-police employees facing termination, nine were laid off, three retired and four were shifted to different positions, Mercantante said….
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